(h/t SoDak Governors)
South Dakota’s first and only female Speaker of the House to date, Debra Anderson has passed away at her home after a long life in public service to South Dakota and our country .
Debra Rae Anderson, 73, passed away Thursday, November 10, 2022 at her home in Washington, DC.
Debra was born June 13, 1949 in Bryant, South Dakota to Dean and Marilyn Anderson. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Debra graduated from Bryant High School in 1967 and cum laude from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD in 1971.
Debra entered the political arena with her election to the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1976. She became South Dakota’s first woman Speaker of the House in 1987. Debra resigned from the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1989 when President George H.W. Bush appointed her as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in The White House.
Deb was a tremendous and no-nonsense leader, and I remember her as Speaker when I was a lowly intern way, way back in 1988.
Both she and her father, Dean Anderson, who served in the House and as SD Secretary of Ag from 1995-1996, served South Dakota well during their time in State Government. Please keep Deb’s family in your prayers today.